Imagine if we could be stripped of every single thing that makes us different. No religion, no color, no class, no individuality. What do you think the impact would be? Imagine a perfect climate all year round conducive to raising crops. That would mean no seasons, no storms, no snow. Imagine communities where people lived in identical dwellings and ate the exact same food as everyone else each and every meal.
We say we want equality. We have heard the speeches and watched demonstrations. Everyone wants what everyone else has. I can’t help but wonder if that recipe for a perfect world falls a little short when you actually have to taste the food.
I just got back from watching The Giver. It really struck a deep cord inside of me. I had no idea what the story was about and I was completely caught off guard by the way it made me feel. I felt a deep sense of sadness as I watched each scene. I didn’t even understand it until after I walked out of the theatre and gave it some thought.
The truth is there will never be a perfect world. Let me rephrase. There will never be a world that is perfect enough for the people who live in it. We were born to be different. We were born unique and different and no amount of controlling or prompting could ever make us be exactly the same. Life is meant to feel. When I look around me and see so many who are genuinely depressed or medicated to the point their affect becomes so flat they no longer show any emotions, my heart hurts. The truth is the whole world feels the loss. Emotions and feelings make people feel alive. It is passion inside that drives people to stretch their lives in ways many could never imagine. As hard as it is, we are meant to feel pain. We are meant to feel so sad and empty that we long to feel something more, something better, and often that is the same part of us that finds the strength inside to bring us to that better place. We are meant to feel joy and sadness, pain and pleasure. We are meant to feel it all. If we don’t notice a difference anymore, who will we become? We are meant to trust like a child, and take chances that scare us to death. We are meant to love so much that we can actually feel our heart inside our chest. We are supposed to feel. We are not meant to walk around numb. It is that numbness that cheats us as a people of feeling real deep compassion and an intense connection with everyone around us. We are all connected and when one becomes numb we all become a little more numb. We feel the pain of the disruption of the connection and we all lose. We become angry that our partner seems so removed. We grow frustrated that a family member is so detached and unhappy. Each and every person affects every other one. That’s just the way it is.
So, where did all the sadness stem from as I sat there and watched? It’s hard to believe that we are meant to love. It’s hard to admit that we kill innocent people and that conflict of interest gives us an excuse to blow up innocent people, woman and children in far away villages. It’s hard to understand that we kill in the name of God and religion. We have learned to find any excuse to feed the savage part of us that affords us an excuse to act against our peaceful nature. We kill the miracle that is growing inside a mothers womb and argue over our opinions about when we believe life begins. Making the almighty dollar outweighs a patients real need for medication and equipment to lead a comfortable life. People will steal from each other to get a jump on their next fix but never give a single penny to a person in need. We are not all bad but the bad is contagious. The more we see it, the more it becomes our new normal. What once would break a young, innocent heart no longer even gets it’s attention. We use words such as racism to raise the heat on our anger and hate, we fall for the political divide that further divides the hearts of the people. We become black or white or democrat or republican. Where the hell are the people? We give up the one thing that makes us the same, the fact that we are born into this world and we fall victim to the evil and hate that divides. I don’t care where you come from or what your religion or skin color is, life is hard and we all have to get up day after day and live it. It’s wonderful, yes , but it is hard too. We will all face things that challenge us, we will see good and bad and we will do the best we can with what we were given but we have to live side by side. We have to rise above every obstacle that challenges to hold us back. We are all people period. Pain and life does not discriminate, only we do and that’s the real shame. We’ve become so numb that we don’t even recognize what’s really going on anymore. And the truth is whether we admit it to ourselves or not, the conflict we feel inside, even if it is solely unconscious is slowly killing us all. It’s taking our hearts and turning them into something cold, detached, uncaring, things they are not. Hate and anger and rage fuel our fire instead of shaming us to find a better way to live. It is taking the life out of our years and robbing the light that once shined from our eyes. It is destroying humanity. When our actions do not gently hold the hand of our nature we are troubled and we don’t even understand why.
Could I possible be right? Who knows. I’m not even sure the line between right and wrong will ever be clear again. There’s so much gray. The sides have started to mesh together and it’s unclear where one stops and the other starts. The heart knows. The gut knows. There is a gauge inside screaming at you to listen. Can you hear it? Do you even feel it, or have you too become numb? Is comfortably numb the new norm?